The Subversion of Quinoa

The occasion was the Commitment Dinner for my daughter, Imogen’s kindergarten class. Our friends, Casey and Simone were hosting at their home.

The purpose of the commitment dinner is for the class parents to get together, sign up to volunteer for certain responsibilities in the class, hear the pitch for money from our version of a PTA parent, and then drink profusely and eat potluck.

My quinoa salad

My quinoa salad

As you might guess, it is the “eating potluck” part of the equation that, every year around this time, sows fear in my soul. And, this being Topanga Canyon, there is one word in particular I expect to see a lot of in the emails leading up to the event: quinoa. More

The Gods are Laughing

Somewhere in Heaven or on Mt. Olympus or wherever divine beings congregate, the Food Gods and the Irony Gods are toasting and laughing at me. Because, as I write these very words, I am eating quinoa.

Arugula & quinoa salad with roasted pumpkin, walnuts and yogurt cucumbers

Arugula & quinoa salad with roasted pumpkin, walnuts and yogurt cucumbers

They (those gods) had barely just gotten over their amusement at my new jogging regimen (after years of declaring that I only ran if something was chasing me), and now they had this to entertain them! More

“What the Heck is Quinoa?”

It was Sunday afternoon, and I was doing something I rarely do — watching football. It was a playoff game, a classic match-up — the San Francisco 49ers vs. the Green Bay Packers at Green Bay, where the temperature at game time was predicted to be 0 degrees.

I kind of like that sort of football. Especially if I’ve got a few beers in the fridge. And San Francisco is the closest we in Los Angeles have to team to root for.

It was the first inning, er… quarter, I mean. The ‘Niners were up 6-0 and seemed to be moving the ball at will. Then a guy on the Packers got hurt, and they went to commercial. More

More Adventures in the New Soy Technology

When I was a kid, all the hippies were crazy for soy. It was the new thing. They had discovered tofu and tempeh, and were putting it in everything.

Today, soy is in the culinary dog house. Vegans, yoga students and Birkenstock wearers have moved on to quinoa, textured vegetable protein and nut cutlets. Websites with names like Natural Health Strategies and Hidden Soy decry the dangers of soy, and expose the nefarious secret intentions of the soy industry. All of this just as it seems to me that soy is finally getting its act together!

Michael Portnoy soy bombs Bob Dylan at the 1998 Grammy Awards

Performance artist Michael Portnoy soy bombs Bob Dylan at the 1998 Grammy Awards

It was the Halloween carnival fundraiser last year at my children’s elementary school. I was approached beforehand: Sean, could you make a large pot of chili to sell at the fundraiser? More

Bomba, Dr. Roy, Quinoa & Strange Days Indeed

“Nobody told me there’d be days like these,
Strange days indeed — most peculiar, mama.”
-John Lennon

*   *   *

Some days just dawn stranger than others. Tuesday was a day like that.

My wife has been fighting a strange rash on her torso for the better part of two months. Nothing major — just red, itchy and annoying. She had changed soaps and detergents, switched clothes, and rubbed herself with various creams, ointments and salves. All to no avail.

Quinoa, Andean "superfood," on the plant

Quinoa, Andean “superfood,” on the plant

So it was that Tuesday I got two email links to a list of “good foods” and a list of “foods to avoid.” Exasperated, she was attempting to see if the rash was diet-related. More

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